Tokyo Olympics: Jamaica storm to women’s 4x100m relay gold as messy Britain grab bronze

Asha Philip, Daryll Neita, Dina Asher-Smith and Imani-Lara Lansiquot

Britain made a mess of the women’s 4x100m with two particularly scruffy changeovers, but their raw pace was enough to take a bronze medal behind the dominant winners Jamaica and second-place USA.

Imani Lansiquot set off too early on the second leg and it meant Asha Philip almost ran out of room to pass on the baton. Lansiquot’s handover to Dina Asher-Smith was also messy, but the world 200m champion made up ground on the bend and Daryll Neita surged home to secure bronze in a time of 41.88 sec, some way short of their national record 41.55 in the heats.

Jamaica’s win brought yet more glory to Elaine Thompson-Herah with her third gold medal of these Games, having already defended the 100m and 200m double she won in Rio. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce got Jamaica off to fast start, and by the time Briana Williams passed to Shericka Jackson they were well clear, leaving Thompson to ease home to win the title that USA had held since London 2012, clocking a national record 41.02.

The US team of Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Jenna Prandini and Gabrielle Thomas lacked the star power of years gone by but completed tidier changes than most to finish with silver in 41.45.

The result provided some solace to Asher-Smith in particular after a frustrating Games in which her preparation was hampered by a hamstring injury. She exited the 100m at the semi-final stage and then withdrew from the 200m, but came back a few days later and looked back to her sharp best to help the relay team qualify for the final. And she was crucial again here as her pace around the bend helped bring Britain right back into the medal mix, using her natural 200m talents to pull away from the midfield pack.

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Neita was the surprise British entrant in the 100m final and although she didn’t challenge for a medal individually, she showed another glimpse of her impressive form with a searing final leg to hold off a strong Swiss team.

When the British quartet came back together at the finish line there was an air of disappointment in their body language; they had expected to challenge the Americans for silver, aware that the Jamaican team was always likely to be too strong. The Americans meanwhile grabbed flags and began celebrations, knowing they had got what they came for.

Philip told the BBC: “I know our changeover wasn’t the best but we really worked hard as a team. It wasn’t our best run or a clear run but we got a medal and that’s what counts.”

Lansiquot added: “I’m very sorry to my granny and my dad, everyone watching probably had a heart attack. These things do happen. The most important thing is we had the trust and the chemistry within ourselves. We knew we were going to get it round and were going to get a medal.”

Moments later the men’s team won a dramatic silver when Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was pipped on the line by Italy’s Filippo Tortu.

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